The biggest enemy of your chimney system whether it’s spring, summer, fall, or winter is water. Precipitation can wreak havoc on an uncapped chimney, but rainwater is not the only reason to cap your chimney. At Hudson Chimney we know that every chimney flue needs a cap and here are the seven biggest reasons why.
1. Caps Keep Water Out
Chimney caps are designed to keep water out of the chimney flue, preventing serious water damage and danger. No matter what brand or style you buy, it should have a metal roof on it which prevents water from falling into the chimney. The water runs off the chimney cap and onto the crown below. From the crown, water drips down to the flashing and roof.
2. Caps Keep Animals Out
Especially during spring, but also year-round, chimney caps keep animals out of the chimney system. Any critter that can make it onto the roof can make it into the chimney opening if it isn’t properly capped. If they climb back out on their own, they leave behind nesting materials, droppings, and other debris that need to be removed. Some of these animals can obstruct the chimney flue, others suffocate and die inside the system, and some, like the chimney swift, are protected under federal law and cannot even be removed from the chimney system or the home. The best way to prevent animals from gaining access to the chimney is to keep it capped.
3. Caps Keep Debris Out
During stormy periods, winds and rain may carry debris into your chimney flue, leading to obstruction, fire hazards, and even odors as these materials decompose over time.
4. Caps Keep Wind Out
In our area of Jacksonville, Florida, especially this time of year, we experience tropical weather producing high winds. At Hudson Chimney we sell and install special models of chimney caps which deflect wind to prevent damage and stop drafts from entering your chimney.
5. Caps Keep Sparks In
While your fireplace is in use, your chimney vents heat, gases, and sparks. Some of these sparks may be ignited and carried up through the flue and out while still ignited. These sparks can ignite fires on your roof and even on your yard near your house. The metal mesh on your chimney cap stops these sparks and puts them directly back into your flue and down into your fireplace.
6. Caps Protect the Liner
You chimney cap doesn’t just prevent damage to your chimney system caused by water, weather, and animals. The cap will prolong the life of your chimney liner overall by protecting it completely. Whether your liner is a clay tile, stainless steel, or another type of liner, the cap will protect it year-round.
7. Caps Can Double as Dampers
If you choose a top mount damper, it can double as a cap, closing the system from the top-down with an airtight seal. This type of cap/damper mechanism saves our customers money, provides 100 percent protection, and is long-lasting.
Our service area of Jacksonville, Florida has been battered this summer by tropical storm systems, and there is more to come. While hurricane season is typically categorized as being from June to November, Nor’easter storms are just starting.
Nor’easter storm systems are storms along the East coast of North America. They come from the northeast, bringing with it cooler temperatures, heavy precipitation, and gale force winds. These types of storms have brought snow into the area in the past, and can again in the future. The odd weather in the last few years means we need to be ready for anything here in Northeast Florida to prevent damage and detect it early-on.
The best way to prevent storm damage is to prevent it. Natural disasters like hurricanes, Nor’easter storms, and even tornadoes can occur with little warning since even weather predictions can be miscalculated. You can give your chimney system its best chance by making sure it’s ready for any storm that might come your way.
You can purchase a chimney cap that deflects wind from the flue opening. In this area where hurricanes and tropical storms typically produce strong winds, this is a great option. Ask Hudson Chimney about custom chimney caps that will help you protect your chimney system.
Schedule Waterproofing Services
Hudson Chimney recommends and applies ChimneySaver water repellent, which creates a barrier that water cannot penetrate. This is a specially formulated sealer that allows vapors to escape while keeping water molecules out. It will not only protect your masonry this season but for years.
The best way to detect storm damage is to hire a professional to assess your chimney. Inspections are recommended annually, but if your home was affected by the storm (trees fallen, shingles missing, etc.) then your chimney was most likely affected and you should call a professional. Hudson Chimney will assess your chimney in one quick and affordable appointment. This service may even be covered by your homeowner’s insurance if you have filed a storm claim. In general, an inspection will save you money in the long run, because letting damage go undetected is the best way to ruin a chimney. Water damage ruins masonry from the inside out and happens behind the scenes. By the time the average homeowner notices water and storm damage, it has likely caused costly and devastating damage already.
Take precautions this season to protect your chimney against storm damage. Prevention now can save you money later, and a chimney that is damaged is unsafe for your home and family. Let Hudson Chimney take care of your comprehensive chimney needs, and rest assured that yours will make it through the season and more.
Humidity and seasonal weather in Northeast Florida continually brings moisture to Florida homes. This moisture can be a problem for your chimney if it isn’t adequately waterproofed to safeguard against water penetration. Once it happens, the damage is immediate. Even a small amount of water in your chimney can cause damage. Plus, it can also lower efficiency and raise the risk of flue fire.
The Usual Suspects
When it comes to water in your chimney, there are a few culprits that your chimney sweep will check first. Common sites for water penetration include:
The Chimney Cap
Whether it’s missing, damaged, or improperly placed, the chimney cannot do its job if it isn’t in proper working order. The chimney cap keeps weather out of your chimney. It allows the vapors to escape safely.
The Chimney Crown
The chimney crown is essentially the top of the chimney. It closes off the opening from the flue liner, to the edge of the chimney. In addition, it has an overhang for water to run off onto the roof. Over time, even a well constructed chimney crown can become cracked and worn, resulting in water penetration.
The flashing is made up of multiple layers of thin metal sheets, strategically placed to prevent water penetration at the intersection of the chimney and roof. This is an extremely vulnerable point in the roof and chimney system. It is often the culprit behind chimney leaks, because homeowners attempt to install flashing themselves, or hire an amateur. Flashing should be installed by an experienced technician. Only a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep® (CCS) is trained to place flashing according to roof materials, slant, and climate. These all should be a factor when installing flashing.
If you are concerned that your chimney may be leaking, do not delay.
Schedule a chimney inspection with Hudson Chimney and you can be confident in a company that is licensed and insured. We send a CSIA certified chimney sweep out on every job. Our technicians are experts at damage assessment, and will provide you with a detailed report. Also, we will work with homeowners with a repair plan. In doing so, it will get your chimney back to work in no time.
At Hudson Chimney, we are native to the Jacksonville, FL area. We know it’s important to protect masonry against water damage. That’s why we will not only repair the damage caused by water, but will also stop it at the source.
If a chimney cap is what you need, we will install one.
We even specialize in custom caps. If your chimney crown is damaged or worn, a Hudson Chimney technician can apply a protective sealant. In addition, we can cast a new custom, mortar crown for your chimney. We also repair and install flashing swiftly and correctly, every time. We don’t stop there, though. Our chimney sweeps can apply an industrial waterproofing sealant to your chimney, which will prevent water penetration, but allow vapors to escape as needed. This is a simple procedure that can be completed in a routine appointment and can save you in repair costs later.
Find out more about chimney leaks here and contact us, a certified chimney sweep you can trust, today!
During the summer, your fireplace is probably the last thing you are thinking about, but unpleasant odors coming into your home from your chimney through the fireplace will quickly remind you. Hudson Chimney has been working on the chimneys of Jacksonville area residents for over 30 years, and we have lots of experience with diagnosing and solving chimney odor problems. The heat and humidity of the summer months can worsen these stinky smells, and, because your home is weatherized to keep the cold air inside, you are more likely to have chimney draft problems that allow these odors to be blown into the house. Different things can cause chimney odors, and we would like to tell you a bit more about these smelly factors and how we can take care of your stinky chimney.
Do you notice a bad barbecue or asphalt odor?
If it smells like someone has burned food on the grill or like your street is being paved, the source of your chimney odor is creosote. Formed naturally during the combustion process of burning wood, creosote sticks to the inner walls of your chimney and can accumulate into large deposits. Not only does creosote have a strong, acrid odor, it also is so highly flammable that the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) says that creosote is a leading cause of chimney fires. To keep your home smelling sweet and to reduce your risk of a chimney fire, Hudson Chimney recommends scheduling your annual chimney sweeping in the spring or summer. Our CSIA-certified chimney sweeps will make sure to remove every bit of creosote from the inside of your chimney.
Is the smell musty?
If you notice a musty odor, you most likely have standing water on the smoke shelf. To keep water out of your chimney, you need a good quality chimney cap professionally installed on the top of the chimney. Without a cap, water from rain can easily get into your chimney and land on the smoke shelf. Leaves, sticks, and dirt can also fall into your chimney, and when this debris mixes with standing water, you could end up with a rotting odor coming from your chimney. Hudson Chimney offers a wide variety of chimney caps, and we can help you pick out the perfect cap for your chimney and install it to protect your chimney from water leaks.
Has your home been invaded by a rotting, decomposing stench?
The worst case odor scenario is a dead bird, squirrel, raccoon, or other wild animal in your chimney. These critters often mistake chimneys for trees and get inside the flue to nest. Unfortunately, it can be easy for a bird or animal to become trapped inside and die within your chimney. To prevent this situation from occurring, you need a chimney cap that is equipped with mesh metal sides that will keep birds and wild animals from being able to get into the chimney. Hudson Chimney knows which caps work the best against animal invasions and can help you stop these creatures from nesting inside your chimney.
Keep your home smelling fresh this summer. Contact us at Hudson Chimney to schedule an appointment for a chimney sweeping and inspection today.
Even though your masonry chimney was built to be durable and strong enough to last a lifetime, its exterior is constantly exposed to the elements of weather. Water from rain erodes the bricks and mortar joints over the years, and this can lead to chimney leaks as well as to severe structural damage. Protecting your chimney from water penetration is one of the most important responsibilities a homeowner has, and Hudson Chimney is proud to provide water leak repair and prevention services. For over 30 years, we have been taking care of chimneys across Northeast Florida, and we have the training and experience to ensure your chimney is safe from water damage. Our chimney technicians have all been certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), and we agree with this non-profit educational organization that water is the biggest enemy of masonry chimneys. We would like to tell you more about the services we provide to take care of leaky chimneys.
If you have noticed cracked, loose, or missing bricks and mortar joints on the outside of your chimney, you will need our masonry repair services to restore the structure of your chimney. Damaged masonry materials allow even more water to get inside the flue, which can lead to rusting of the liner or damper and to rotting of the wood that surrounds your chimney. Hudson Chimney uses masonry techniques like tuckpointing to replace damaged and missing bricks and mortar joints. You can trust us to make sure your chimney is safe and sound.
Without a chimney cap professionally installed on top of your chimney, rain water can easily get into the flue. Hudson Chimney offers a wide variety of chimney caps, and we can help you find the best one for your chimney and install it to protect your chimney from water intrusion. The CSIA recommends chimney caps, as the least expensive preventive measure you can take against chimney water leaks.
One of the most common areas for water leaks is where your chimney meets the roof. To protect this vulnerable spot, Hudson Chimney can install a customized flashing system by wrapping metal sheets around your chimney at the roof. We will ensure that the flashing provides an airtight seal of your chimney. If you have a flashing system that has been damaged, we also provide flashing repair services.
Once your chimney has been repaired, Hudson Chimney can create a barrier against water penetration by applying a waterproofing formula to your entire chimney. We only use formulas that are 100% vapor permeable, which is important because it allows vapors to escape the masonry materials while keeping water out of them. Our waterproofing treatment has a 10-year warranty, so your chimney will be protected from water penetration for a decade.
Protect your chimney from damaging water leaks. Contact Hudson Chimney today to schedule an appointment for a water leak chimney inspection.